Copyright (c) 2001, Jordan White
What an unthinkable horror.
I don't know how many of you, like me, have trouble putting all this together.
We have been attacked. Two of our huge, landmark buildings have been destroyed, and one government facility severely damaged, with the loss of thousands of lives.
We are, as a nation, reeling. We can barely think and function. It's all too much.
But our government feels no such paralysis. It has decided to "strike back", that is, take military action against the "Taliban regime", the Islamic fundamentalists who control most of Afghanistan. President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell (a man who has had a long and distinguished military career), Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and, likely as not, Attorney General John Ashcroft have put their heads together and managed to convince most of Congress (other than the courageous Barbara Lee of California's ninth congressional district) to say it's okay to go in and destroy buildings, installations, and yes, human lives based on what is almost entirely circumstantial evidence.
This seems okay to most Americans, who themselves have no clue as to what to do. They are scared. They are scared that the country will be attacked again, through biological warfare or other hideous means. They are scared because they counted on the CIA, the FBI and our operatives in other countries to tell our security folks that trouble was a-brewin'. They wonder why they pay so much in taxes when our intelligence operation is such a dumb operation. They wonder why airport security did not intercept the hijackers, when they themselves are stopped for having too large a belt buckle.
While the American people wonder, their "fearless leaders" attack.
But will attacking Afghanistan solve the problem? Will terrorism go away because our government takes out a few Taliban hideouts? Will terrorism go away even if we take out the Taliban? Or is terrorism against the United States a symptom of a greater problem?
Americans, shake off your paralysis and fear and start to ponder this: Are we, arguably the leaders of the free world, taking our position seriously? Are we being responsible in the way we are treating the rest of the world? Are we doing what is right, doing what we ourselves have declared is the right way to treat others, that is, anti-racist, anti-totalitarian, and pro-democratic? Or are we supporting regimes that tear down others, that exist to line the pockets of the already rich, whose level of evil rivals that of the Nazis, for our own gains in power and wealth?
Have any of these questions been raised in the media, let alone answered?
Yet our leaders were very quick to strike back with what may well turn out to be an ill-conceived, unending, futile attempt to rein in "terrorism".
As a nation, we need to do less "striking back" and more "striking a match within". We need to turn to God, and begin to seek His will. It is shocking to see so many Christians, who should know better, waving the red, white, and blue in mindless celebration of "our democracy", and even pastors delivering self-righteous sermons asking God to avenge us of our enemies, and to "bless us" as we ride forth to conquer all and advance the cause of peace on earth.
In our local paper, there actually was a letter to the editor pontificating that the US was a nation that valued life, therefore, the US had an obligation to destroy those who do not value life! Go figure.
Instead of asking God to bless us in whatever we decide to do, "just because", let's consider asking Him what He would have us do.
It is not unlikely that God would be delighted to show us, as a nation, how to handle this horrible situation, how to bring justice to those who cry for it so desperately, and how to bring about a lasting peace, not a peace that's forced, not a peace that's bargained for by parties who forget the terms almost before the ink is dry. True peace. God's peace.
October 9, 2001
"Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, 'Please bring me the ephod' [priestly vestment]. So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. And David inquired of the Lord, saying, 'Shall I pursue the band? Shall I overtake them?' And He [ the Lord] said to him, 'Pursue, for you shall overtake them, and you shall surely rescue all.'" I Samuel 30: 7, 8.
"Now the Philistines came and spread themselves out in the valley of Rephaim. Then David inquired of the Lord, saying, 'Shall I go up against the Philistines? Wilt thou give them into my hand?' And the Lord said to David, 'Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.'" II Samuel 5: 18, 19.
All Biblical quotes from NAS.
Note to my Palestinian friends: Although the Arabic term "Falastin" (Palestine) sounds a lot like "Philistine", please do not confuse these ancient people with the present-day Palestinians. The ancient Philistines of David's time were a warlike, seagoing people, pagans who worshipped a disgusting fish-headed god. Present-day Palestinians are a peace-loving people, a monotheistic people who worship Allah, whether they be Muslims or Christians. He is the God of the Jews and Christians. One thing to keep in mind when Allah, God, Jehovah gave permission to David to slay them is (1) they were perverting the worship of the true God through their idolatry and causing others, including the Jews of that time, to turn aside from worshipping the true God, or Allah, to worshipping their idol. (2) the lineage of Christ occurs through the ancestry of David, and God wanted to make sure that the Jews of that era remained in line with His plan of redemption. Selling out to idolators made that a difficult path to trace.